I owe a big apology to my BBAW interview partner, Sarah of YA Librarian Tales. We exchanged our interview questions a few days before the interview day, and when I didn’t get a response from her, I made a mental note to email her . . . and then promptly forgot about it. Lo and behold, when I checked my spam folder yesterday, there were Sarah’s answers (along with emails from various bloggers, our author Ben Greenman, and many other people I’ve sent emails to before.) So here is Sarah’s interview! Read it and then go enjoy her blog. I know reading her answers has already made me curious about Kim Harrington—if it’s in the vein of Veronica Mars, that’s something I might have to check out. (And here’s my interview on Sarah’s blog.)
1.How does your job as a librarian influence your blog?
When I’m reviewing, it makes me consider what would make that book a good fit for a library. Is it a strong readalike to an already established YA author? Does it have strong reluctant reader appeal? Heck, is it written by a celebrity that teens will recognize and will want to read and you know it’s just something you need to have. I also like to look at books that may not be a librarian’s first choice to adding to a collection but should be given a second look because there may be something great in there for the teen reader.
2. I was really interested to see that you’re especially into contemporary YA, because sometimes I feel like contemporary YA doesn’t get as much attention as dystopian and other genres. Do you agree? Why is contemporary YA your favorite?
Unfortunately, contemporary YA doesn’t get as much attention as most YA genres. It is one of the things that continues to befuddle me because contemporary YA has by far some of the strongest young adult writers. It is reality, and sometimes that is harsh, so perhaps that is why some readers shy away from contemporary YA. Though I will say, if you hand a teen reader, or heck, any reader, a really great contemporary YA, they usually come back for more. Perhaps contemporary YA doesn’t have the “escape” factor that dystopians or paranormal stories do, but there is much to be said to seeing big decisions play out on the pages of a book rather than having to experience those drugs, that friend dying, or something else, in the real world. It builds empathy and understanding in readers. For me personally, I just prefer contemporary situations. I don’t need an apocalypse or a virus to make my stories interesting. Give me some well written teen angst, parental problems, or friend issues any day of the week.
3. You also focus on romance on your blog—what romances would you recommend to someone who’s never read anything in that genre before?
Right now, Victoria Dahl is one of my favorite contemporary romance writers. She is a very funny writer along with being incredibly sexy. Her characters are strong and the women are not meek or willing to have decisions made for them. They go toe-to-toe with their guys. Lisa Kleypas is my perennial historical go-to author because she just writes with such luxurious detail. Her heroes are perhaps too good to be true but they are sexy and will give real life male celebrities a run for their money. Likewise, Elizabeth Hoyt is at the top of her game as a historical romance writer. Lovely, lovely writing and interesting plots. And finally, I cannot recommend Nalini Singh enough. She is the only paranormal romance writer I still read and it’s because she is just a damn fine writer and knows how to keep her stories intriguing. Pick up Slave to Sensation and you’ll never look back.
4. What’s the best real-life experience you’ve had as a result of your blog?
Attending BEA and Book Blogger Convention this past May was really great because I got to meet several bloggers who I have talked with online. Putting faces to names and just being able to really talk face to face about books with these bloggers was wonderful. I have also been able to use blogging as a platform for work, using it for a presentation I gave at the Colorado Teen Lit Conference so it has enhanced my professional career also.
5. What are your favorite and least favorite book covers of the past year?
I’m not as passionate about covers as most readers. They tend not to make a big impression on me for whatever reason. However, I think debut YA author Sophia Flack’s cover for Bunheads is absolutely gorgeous. I think Melissa Walker has a great cover for Small Town Sinners that really speaks to the story, and I think Moira Young’s Blood Red Road is austere enough to match the book, in a positive way. There is one cover I absolutely have loathed this year and that is Crush Control by Jennifer Jabaley. It hurts my eyes to even look at it.
6. What book(s) would you make into TV shows if you could?
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell, an adult book, would make a great made-for-tv movie or even TV show since those TV people know how to string out a plotline. I can totally see Jason Segal or John Krasinski in the role of Lincoln, the main character. Also, Clarity by Kim Harrington would make a fun teenage detective series in the vein of Veronica Mars. Would love to see Emma Stone as Clare Fern, psychic. Set in Cape Cod, I can see it having an old school Dawson’s Creek vibe to it too.